Non-severe allergic transfusion reaction: A hidden cause of wastage of blood product and laboratory resources

Hasan Hayat, Qadeer Ahmed, Hareem Alam, Anila Rashid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objectives: Blood transfusions are often needlessly aborted following a non-severe allergic reaction despite responding well to medication resulting into partial transfusion of the implicated blood product. This results in the wastage of untransfused blood component and resources spent on unnecessary laboratory work-up of these reactions. Materials and Methods: We aimed to review the amount of blood product and laboratory resource wastage associated with non-severe allergic transfusion reaction (ATR) in a tertiary care hospital. Results: A total of 174,632 blood products were released and transfused during the study period (2019–2021). There were 336 adverse transfusion reactions with an estimated rate of 1.9 per 1000 blood products administered. Of 336, 145 (43%) were ATR, of which 141 (97%) were non-severe and 4 (3%) were severe. The most commonly associated symptom was found to be urticaria in 31 (22%). All non-severe ATR completely resolved with medication. Seventy-nine percent of the transfusions associated with non-severe ATRs were aborted, of which 37% were followed by additional transfusions. The estimated loss of blood product volume and the cost of non-severe ATR (including transfusion reaction work-up, discarded blood product and additional transfusion) was 11,185 ml (11 L) and Pakistani rupees 1,831,546 ($11,592.06 or €8598.78), respectively. Conclusion: Non-severe ATR was found to be associated with a significant proportion of laboratory resource wastage and that of blood product in our institution. Revision of institutional guidelines for management and lab work-up of transfusion reactions would be helpful in alleviating this unnecessary loss in a resource-constraint transfusion-setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • allergic
  • audit
  • blood wastage
  • transfusion reaction


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-severe allergic transfusion reaction: A hidden cause of wastage of blood product and laboratory resources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this